Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Samphire fettuccine with champagne custard

Samphire, 20cl champagne, 4 egg yolks, double cream, butter, 8oz pasta flour, 1 tsp olive oil, 5 eggs  
Serves: 4 preparation: 15 minutes (+5 hour pasta preparation)

I adore pasta and thankfully love making it almost as much as I love to eat it - there's nothing quite like freshly made pasta, fresh from the pot. The crisp tang of champagne, the fresh, juicy and salty samphire and the creamy texture of the sauce is a luxurious combination here and for such a simple dish to make, it really does make a fantastic impression.

1) Pour 8 ounces of grade 00 flour (pasta flour), 1 teaspoon of olive oil, a good pinch of salt, 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk into a bowl and kneed with your hands until you have a firm dough. Wrap this in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2-5 hours.

2) Dust a worktop with pasta flour and roll out the dough into a sheet 1/3 of a centimetre thick. Cut out squares of pasta with a knife and roll these through a pasta machine (or using a rolling pin if you don't have one) until you have a thin rectangle of pasta. Slice into 1cm wide strips.

3) Pour the champagne into a pan and reduce it down on a high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Turn down the heat and quickly whisk in the egg yolks. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and then add a splash of cream. Add the samphire along with a little butter to make the sauce glossy and leave on a low heat until the pasta is ready.

4) Drop the pasta into salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Once it rises to the top of the pan it's done! Strain and toss with the samphire and champagne custard.

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